How to Stain Wood Floor


Staining hardwood floors can range from hard work (if you need to remove an older stain), or it can be more simple (if you are just applying a new stain). A wood floor stain brings out the charm while making the wood appear darker and more expensive.

Things You'll Need

  • Face mask Gloves Multiple soft rags Vacuum Oil-based wood floor stain in color of your choice Broom and mop
  • Remove all furniture and rugs from the room. Sweep the floor, then vacuum in order to remove any dust and debris. Finally, mop the floor and let dry.

  • Decide if you need to strip an old stain off of the floor. You can usually tell if the floor has been stained before if there are certain areas on the floor that are faded more than others, or you can obtain information if the floor has been stained (such as if you just moved into a new house, you can ask the prior owners). If you need to strip the stain, do this with a hand power sander. Wear gloves, a face mask and protective eyewear. Use the sander in slow circular motions over the entire wood floor, starting in small sections furthest from the door. Make sure that the sanded floor is smooth and there is no evidence of a shiny stain anywhere.

  • Mop the floor one more time to remove any dust or debris. Put on the gloves, protective eyewear and face mask again. Then, test a small area of the wood floor with the new wood stain to make sure it is the appearance you desire and works well with your type of wood flooring. Soak a rag in the stain and test an area 3 feet by 3 feet. Stroke the stain in the direction of the wood grain, not in circular motions.

  • Start at a back corner of the room farthest from the door when you are ready to stain the entire wood floor. You will be working in different sections to help organize the staining process. Soak a soft rag with the stain and use stroking movements over the wood floors in the direction of the wood grain. Work slowly and carefully, making sure you cover every square inch of the floor and corners. While you work, make sure to rub the stain into the floors so it will soak in, and wipe away any excess that sits on top. Do not rub in circular motions.

  • Work next in the other back corner of the room. Repeat the staining process in Step 3. Repeat it again with the middle of the floor, and the front left and right corners of the room. Let the floors dry overnight. Make sure the floor is dry before replacing any furniture or rugs.

Tips & Warnings

  • If desired, you can follow up the wood floor stain with a polyurethane finish that gives a glossy appearance.
  • Do not have open flame or heat around the wood floor stain, as it is flammable and the fumes are dangerous. Be very cautious when working with a sander.

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  • Photo Credit Courtesy of Photobucket.
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